Twice, so far, in my life I’ve prayed for someone to die.
When I was in my twenties, my family was involved in a major van accident. The van flipped over multiple times. We were all seat-buckled. Otherwise, we would have ended up along with everything in the van, strewn across the highway.
I was taken to a hospital with my younger sister. I tried to get information from the nurse about the accident. I knew that my mother and her father were badly injured, but I didn’t know the extent of their injuries or if anyone else was seriously injured.
The nurse was not willing to give me any information.
I heard two nurses talking in the hallway. They said there were some “oranges”, 4 “reds”, and 1 “black”. I didn’t know the language, but I was able to discern that one person had died.
I prayed (without saying the name of diety) that it was my grandfather.
The other time I prayed for someone to die was when I was 12. I didn’t just pray once, I prayed daily for my own death. According to Jewish Orthodoxy, a child is not responsible for her sins until 12 or his sins until 13. At that time, all sins committed up until the child’s coming of age, were transferred to the young adult’s account for reckoning.
While my classmates were looking forward to Bar Mitzvahs and parties, I was dreading the impending sentence.
I knew that I wasn’t allowed to kill myself, so that wasn’t an option. The only alternative was death by god.